Video: “Zone of Non-Being: Guantánamo,” Featuring Andy Worthington, Omar Deghayes, Clive Stafford Smith, Michael Ratner

21.5.17

A screenshot from 'Zone of Non-Being: Guantanamo', a documentary film released in 2014.Please support my work! I’m currently trying to raise $2500 (£2000) to support my writing and campaigning on Guantánamo and related issues over the next three months of the Trump administration.

 

Several years ago (actually, way back in December 2012), I was interviewed at my home for a documentary produced by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, which was directed by the filmmaker Turab Shah. For some reason, I never heard about the film being completed (I think its initial screening was in January 2014, when I was in the US), but after Donald Trump became president of the United States, I received an email from the IHRC stating that they were screening the film, which prompted me to look it up, and to discover that it had been put online in July 2014.

The film features a fascinating array of contributors, including myself, former prisoners including Omar Deghayes, Moazzam Begg and Martin Mubanga, Clive Stafford Smith, the founder of Reprieve, the late Michael Ratner, the founder of the Center for Constitutional Rights, the author and academic Arun Kundnani, Ramon Grosfoguel, Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, the journalist Victoria Brittain, the writer Amrit Wilson, and Massoud Shadjareh of the ICRC.

The ICRC described the film as follows:

‘Zone of Non-Being: Guantánamo’ looks at how the process of Guantanamisation has taken place over the last decade in the USA, and through US and allied foreign policy from the introduction of the NDAA to the use of drones. It argues that rather than being the exceptional event of the so-called War on Terror, Guantánamo is a continuation of a colonial policy that runs from 1492 and the conquest of the Americas and the destruction of Granada.

Guantánamo symbolises in a public and brutal fashion the creation of Fanon’s Zone of Non-Being – “an extraordinarily sterile and arid region, an utterly naked declivity” where violence reigns and those deemed non-beings are trapped by the on-going colonial process.

The film is posted below via YouTube, and I hope you have time to watch it and to share it if you find it useful. It’s also on Vimeo here.

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer, film-maker and singer-songwriter (the lead singer and main songwriter for the London-based band The Four Fathers, whose debut album ‘Love and War’ and EP ‘Fighting Injustice’ are available here to download or on CD via Bandcamp). He is the co-founder of the Close Guantánamo campaign (and the Countdown to Close Guantánamo initiative, launched in January 2016), the co-director of We Stand With Shaker, which called for the release from Guantánamo of Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison (finally freed on October 30, 2015), and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by the University of Chicago Press in the US, and available from Amazon, including a Kindle edition — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the six-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, and The Complete Guantánamo Files, an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list, the full military commissions list, and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the Close Guantánamo campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

5 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    When I posted this on Facebook, I wrote:

    I recently found this video of ‘Zone of Non-Being: Guantanamo’, a documentary film made by the Islamic Human Rights Commission and directed by Turab Shah, which was released in 2014, but that I hadn’t seen before even though I appear in it along wth numerous other contributors, including former Guantanamo prisoners Omar Deghayes, Moazzam Begg and Martin Mubanga, Clive Stafford Smith of Reprieve, and the late Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights. I thought it might be of interest. Hope so! Do share it if you find it useful.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Angela Gipple wrote:

    Wonderful/important film, Andy. Thanks.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    You’re welcome, Angela. Thank you so much for your interest!

  4. Anna says...

    Watched it yesterday and it should be watched regularly, especially by youngsters,many of whom hardly know what Guantanamo & GWOT at all are, while both are still very much alive. Some of the public comments reveal how utterly non-informed most people were even several years ago.

    So sorry about Manchester …

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Glad you got to see it, Anna, but yes, as you say, it needs to be watched by young people who don’t know what’s been done in their name over the last 15 years. I reckon ‘Outside the Law: Stories from Guantanamo’ still works on that basis too!
    The situation in Manchester is thoroughly depressing. It’s sad that there are individuals who want to murder civilians, including kids, it’s sad that the West and/or our allies do that all the time in other countries, but we rarely hear about it, and it’s sad that these kinds of events destabilise us, as those planning the attacks no doubt intend. In fear, we are encouraged by our right-wing media to turn to right-wing politicians, whose hardline approach only makes things worse. Earlier today, a lunatic Telegraph columnist was calling for a state of emergency to be declared here, to match the one implemented in France.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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